Bongiorno, Frank: The Australian history boom has busted, but there’s hope it may boom again

Frank Bongiorno

The Australian history boom has busted, but there’s hope it may boom again‘, The Conversation, 25 January 2017

First in a series on Australian identity, this piece from one of Honest History’s distinguished supporters, Frank Bongiorno, looks at the history of the study of Australian history over the last 30 years. Bongiorno notes that, while Australian history is ‘still a major presence in the public sphere’, especially in terms of ‘the media and publishing industries’ promotion of the Great White Man as National Historian-cum-Prophet’, there is less space for ‘critical history’. Popular war stories do relatively well in the market but there is still something of a split personality in Australian history with a focus on ‘national distinctiveness and belonging’ on one hand and ‘diversity, exclusion and discrimination’ and criticism of ‘national stereotypes’ on the other. There is also an issue of getting students to do Australian history at tertiary level.

The Honest History Book, to be published in April by NewSouth, is a wide-ranging study of Australian history. It includes a chapter by Frank Bongiorno.

 

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